Before discussing ”bye” dogs, a medical update on Doc. I stated that in his hunt tests last week that he wasn’t his normal self and we thought he had an ear infection. We took him to the vet on Friday and it turns out that he has a severe ear infection, in spite of the fact that we’ve been diligent with trying to keep his ears clean. He’s now on antibiotics and a new type of ear wash, and is scheduled for a checkup in a couple of weeks. Considering the severity of his ear infection, it makes his it makes performance in last week’s hunt tests even more admirable.
Now for “bye” dogs. In AKC pointer hunt tests, two dogs are braced together for each test, so when a dog is without a brace mate, another dog – a “bye” dog – is braced with the dog that is being tested. The bye dog can be evaluated, scored, or simply run in the test without being evaluated or scored.
Some owners or handlers may not want to volunteer their dogs as a bye dog especially if they are going to be testing, because each test wears them down a little. However I volunteered Doc as a bye dog although he was going to be testing twice that same day. I decided that it would be good experience and since we normally hunting 4-6 hours a day during hunting season, an hour-and-a-half of testing wasn’t asking too much.
I could have moved Doc up to a Senior in both of his remaining tests but that would have complicated the testing schedule. The test chairman would have had to find a bye dog to replace Doc in one of his Junior tests, and for Doc to enter two Senior tests, an additional brace would have had to been created and a bye dog would have had to be found for Doc.